Tag Archives: Barron’s
Les Hinton, the CEO of Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch.com and Dow Jones Newswires, sent the following e-mail to the company staff on the wake of its recent performance:
First-quarter results confirm the wisdom of investing in our products and services to provide more value to readers and customers and to drive growth.
In a fiscal quarter in which News Corp.’s earnings were very good, Dow Jones contributed a 9.5% increase in revenue in what is historically a weak three months for the company.
You know already many of the components of success. Ad revenue companywide was up 24% in the period from July through September. Circulation revenue for the entire company was 14% higher. The Wall Street Journal and its international editions were among the drivers. Barron’s showed continued strength. Our digital products paced the advance. Growing circulation and advertising revenue from iPads, e-readers and smartphones offer promise for the future.
Among enterprise products, we were able to increase customer retention even as we felt some declines in the quarter. That was expected given our investment in new and existing services as well as a sales cycle timed around long-term contracts. It’s the long term we’re focused on. We are investing now in our portfolio of Corporate and Financial Markets products – including Factiva, Newswires, Risk & Compliance, Investment Banker and Consultant – to facilitate long-term relationships and commitments and to drive growth.
The quarter included another big product expansion with WSJ Weekend in September. WSJ Weekend and Greater New York, another major expansion in calendar 2010, already have attracted more than 70 new advertisers to the Journal franchise. These are on top of the 88 new advertisers who have used our luxury magazine WSJ. since its launch to reach our affluent and influential readers. Based on that success we will be publishing WSJ. more frequently in 2011.
We are investing in our products and our audiences globally as well as locally. We added European and Asian editions to the Journal’s iPad app. We introduced Chinese and Japanese language WSJ iPhone apps to accelerate our efforts to pursue local audiences around the world. Some of our Local Media Group newspapers have begun charging for online access, and we’re pleased with the early results.
Internally, we haven’t relented in our quest to make our systems and processes the best in the business. MarketWatch journalists joined the Journal and Barron’s on the Methode publishing system. This put our three biggest consumer products on a common publishing system, allowing us to address our readers more precisely. Important projects under way from Finance to IT to HR are designed to make us a smarter, more nimble organization. We’re making customer service a priority and asking employees to contribute ideas to improve the customer experience. That initiative is called Customer 1st , and it recognizes that each of us is responsible for building loyalty reader by reader and client by client.
This economic environment makes it difficult to see too far ahead, so it’s impossible to predict the next year or even the next quarter. But we know what we’ve done, which is prove you can be a success in the newspaper business by selling trusted, authoritative and compelling content in print and on digital devices – and sometimes to the same readers.
Some with circulation half of ours prefer to dismiss our success with mistaken accusations about the Journal selling ads at a discount. The truth is our growing advertising revenue isn’t the result of discounting, and our competitors know that as well as we do. Advertisers are ready to pay a premium for space in the No. 1 newspaper in the U.S. Our product is ever more attractive to readers and advertisers both.
This was a good quarter. The economy remains unsteady, but let us hope this next quarter will be good too. Thank you for the performance you helped make possible and for the even better performance you are making possible now.
by Chris Roush
Here is a nice display of Barron’s covers outside of its offices in New York. The picture was taken during a tour of the Dow Jones & Co. news operations on Friday morning.
The Daily Beast has a slide show Monday of the top “economic and business commentators” in the United States.
Here is the list, with some of the comments:
15. Felix Salmon from Reuters. “Most statistically dexterous journalist.”
14. Alan Abelson from Barron’s. “Astute and unvarnished.”
13. Barry Ritholtz from The Big Picture.
12. Holman Jenkins Jr. from The Wall Street Journal.
10. Charles Gasparino from Fox Business Network. “Best business reporter on TV.”
9. Caroline Baum from Bloomberg News.
8. Gretchen Morgenson from the New York Times.
7. James B. Stewart from SmartMoney. “Most levelheaded and dependable.”
6. Michael Lewis from Vanity Fair.
5. David Leonhardt from the New York Times. “agenda-setter.”
4. David Wessel from The Wall Street Journal.
3. Paul Krugman from the New York Times.
2. Martin Wolf from The Financial Times. “Professorial” and “magesterial.”
1. James Grant from Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.
Yvette Kantrow, the executive editor of The Deal, writes about the ramifications of a recent ad from Barron’s looking for a financial journalist to write 80 to 100 items per week about the fund industry.
Kantrow writes, “That’s right. Eighty. To 100. Items. A week. Or 16 to 20 items a day. Or at least two an hour. And not just any blog items, no sirree Bob! These pearls of wisdom must include ‘actionable investing ideas’ — aka the kind of insights that can make readers moolah. And one more thing: They should not just focus on the U.S. market, either. Get global.
“That’s right, this Barron’s blogger has to write about all world markets all the time, and is ‘expected to blog when major news breaks, regardless of when that happens.’ As Oliver Stone might put it, ‘Money Never Sleeps.’ And neither, apparently, can this sure-to-be-beleaguered Barron’s staffer.
“Given the state of the job market in general, and the journalism market in particular, I have no doubt that Barron’s (Barron’s!) is getting a huge response to this ad, which ran on Gorkana’s U.S. Journalist Job Alert. But really: Is there anyone out there — journalist, blogger, hedge funder, candlestick maker — who can actually produce 80 to 100 items a week that are not just worth reading (or even merely readable) but ‘actionable’? And if there is, why would such an investor-savant be slaving away for Barron’s, instead of, say, putting those ideas into action for him- or herself? Or at least hosting ‘Mad Money’ on CNBC?”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
The 14 business magazines published in the United States outperformed the overall magazine industry in the second quarter in terms of advertising revenue and ad pages.
The financial and business magazines reported ad revenue of $328.1 million in the second three months of the year, up 11.3 percent from the same quarter in 2009. In comparison, the overall industry was up 5.7 percent.
In terms of ad pages, the business titles reported an 8.3 percent to 3359.42 pages, while the overall industry was up 0.3 percent, according to data published Monday from the Publishers Information Bureau and analyzed by Talking Biz News.
The comparison data excludes Fortune SmallBusiness and Conde Nast Portfolio, both of which were published in the second quarter of 2009.
The best performer among the business titles was Time Inc. personal finance glossy Money, which reported a 37.5 percent rise in ad revenue to $34.2 million and a 32.3 percent jump in ad pages to 164.77.
Another strong performer was Wired. The Conde Nast tech-related magazine reported ad revenue of $19.6 million, up 37.7 percent, and ad pages of 200.13, up 26.2 percent, for the quarter.
Among the large business titles, Bloomberg Businessweek performed the best, with an 11.2 percent increase in ad revenue for the quarter, to $48.8 million, and a 10 percent increase in ad pages to 365.01.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Business magazines continued to see their advertising revenue and pages decline in the first three months of the year, but at a slower pace than in 2009, according to an analysis of Publishers Information Bureau data by Talking Biz News.
The sector also performed better than the overall magazine industry
The 14 business magazines reported a decline 7.7 percent in ad pages for the quarter. That compares to a 9.4 percent decline for the overall magazine industry. (The data excludes ad pages from Conde Nast Portfolio and Fortune Small Business, both of which closed in the past year.)
In comparison, ad pages declined in business magazines by 28.7 percent in 2009.
The publications that performed the best included Inc., which saw a 17.8 percent increase in ad revenue and a 15.4 percent increase in ad pages, and Wired, which reported a 20.1 percent increase in ad revenue and an 11.2 percent rise in ad pages.
BusinessWeek reported a 17.8 percent decline in ad revenue to $27.9 million for the quarter, and an 18.7 percent decline in ad pages for the quarter to 210.49 pages.
Forbes reported a 15.6 percent drop in ad revenue to $46.9 million and a 20.3 percent decline in ad pages to 341.68 pages.
Fortune reported an 11.4 percent decline in ad revenue to $33.6 million and a 16 percent drop in ad pages to 265.63 pages.
Overall, the magazine industry reported a 3.9 percent decline in ad revenue. The 14 business magazines reported a 6.4 percent decline in ad revenue in the first three months of the year. Last year, the business magazines reported a 21.7 percent decline in ad revenue.
See all of the data here.
The memo reads:
Apple will make the iPad available on April 3rd, 2010. We understand the commercial importance of this product as it presents another excellent opportunity to distribute elite Dow Jones content to millions of existing and new customers. As we did with the iPhone, our intention is to rapidly assess the device in terms of compatibility with our network and vital applications. It is our responsibility to ensure that our use of this device introduces no vulnerability to our critical infrastructure and services.
We are committed to completing a full test and certification process within two weeks of receiving the first unit. To ensure the integrity of our environment, we will not permit any iPad access to the Dow Jones global enterprise network until our tests are complete. After our testing is complete we will promptly communicate our findings and next steps to you.
Read more here.
Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and Marketwatch.com, and the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract.
The package has been endorsed by the IAPE Bargaining Committee and is being reviewed by the union’s Executive Council. It will then be submitted to the full IAPE Board of Directors for debate and a vote before being submitted for a membership ratification vote before the end of April.
A notice on the union’s Web site states, “The company began these negotiations with a demand for blanket waivers covering every core element of the contract — and a demand that we surrender any right to negotiate wage increases, insisting, instead, that any future pay increases — or pay freezes — be at the sole discretion of management. We beat back each and every one of those demands.
“The company bargaining team will tell its bosses that IAPE has agreed to the same wage freeze imposed last year on non-union employees. The DJ bargaining team was under orders to deliver such a ‘freeze.’ Without it, there would be no contract. And although base rates don’t change until July 1, 2011, we’ve still managed to put more money in your pocket this year.
“Even though the company steadfastly refused lump-sum payments, signing bonuses, deferred raises and any other direct increase in weekly wages, we did negotiate a July 1st switch to the new (and better) health care plan, which will mean lower premiums immediately for more than 90% of IAPE members while maintaining current coverage. Those lower premiums are real money that you’ll see in your check every payday.”
Read more here. Union members will receive a 2 percent increase in pay in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Goldsborough writes, “He joined the Wall Street Journal in 1949 and worked in several bureaus before becoming assistant bureau manager in Chicago in 1961.
“‘Harlan was the guy responsible for breaking in all the new reporters who came into the Chicago bureau,’ said Wall Street Journal colleague Todd Fandell, who later worked for the Tribune and as editor of the trade publication Advertising Age.
“‘The thing I remember most about him is that he was a very gentle man,’ Fandell said. ‘I don’t remember him ever shouting or cracking under pressure, and some afternoons and early evenings were really pressure-filled.’
“Mr. Byrne continued to write articles and edit stories written by reporters in the bureau. He kept up with many colleagues years after they had moved on from the Chicago bureau.
“‘He was always interested in what you were doing and what your family was doing,’ Fandell said. ‘When I was at the Tribune in the late 1970s and at Advertising Age after that, we would get together three or four times a year and just chat about what we were doing.’”
Read more here.
Alan Abelson of Barron’s remembers Saturday his former colleague, Harlan Byrne, the Midwest editor of Barron’s who died earlier this week at the age of 89.
Abelson writes, “From his Barron’s perch in the Windy City, Harlan cast an inquiring and knowing eye on a wide swath of Corporate America, especially those muscular companies that made big ugly things that rust in the rain. He was a meticulous reporter of the highest integrity, a prolific writer, an unflappable, low-key interviewer, no matter how grouchy and intimidating the subject, an astute judge of markets and possessed of an extraordinary ability to separate fact from hyperbole, truth from spin.
“We can’t recall a single instance when one of the countless pieces he wrote elicited a complaint of inaccuracy from even the crankiest corporate chieftain. Would that all of us ink-stained wretches could say the same.
“Harlan graced the Barron’s masthead until he retired in 2002, but continued to turn out his thoroughly researched, well-wrought pieces for the magazine until 2006. Personally, he was bright, gentle and unfailingly generous, just one great guy. All of us at Barron’s and anyone lucky enough to have known Harlan will really miss him.”
Read more here.